BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 06 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:61
  1. Trisha Greenhalgh

    I once held an obstetrics post at a hospital known for the uncompromising attitude of its midwives. When a new mother expressed anxieties about breast feeding, one of them could be relied on to appear at the next feed with a bottle of formula milk and, if a junior doctor could be persuaded to sanction the act, the first instalment of a 10 day course of bromocriptine—the safety, efficacy, and indispensability of which had apparently been confirmed by a smoothtalking pharmaceutical representative.

    A retired community midwife friend, on hearing of this tradition, snorted with derision and said, “cabbages.” White ones, with stiff leaves, broken and packed into the brassiere, were all that was needed, …

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